First National Bank of Pittsburgh
(now PNC Bank)

First National Bank

The First National Bank, incorporated in 1863, is one of the city's oldest financial institutions. In 1876, the City of Pittsburgh had no less than eighty-seven separate banking institutions, and twenty-seven of these were part of the national banking system. First National Bank of Pittsburgh was the first bank to adopt a national charter after the passage of the National Banking Act in 1863.

Original First National Bank building
The original First National Bank building in the late 1800s.

The bank can trace it's origins to the Pittsburgh Trust and Savings Company, which was founded in 1852. In 1858, the company constructed it's corporate offices at the corner of Fifth Avenue and Wood Street in downtown Pittsburgh. The bank changed it's name to First National Bank of Pittsburgh in 1863. Two additional floors were eventually added to the building.

First National Bank building - circa 1895
The expanded First National Bank building at Fifth and Wood, shown around 1895.

In late-1890s, First National Bank of Pittsburgh moved into a new headquarters building, constructed at Fifth and Wood, where the original bank had stood. At the dawn of the 20th century it was decided to expand the building.

First National Bank building - 1900
The First National Bank building at Fifth and Wood, shown in 1900.

A twenty-six story skyscraper rose from the roof of the First National building. When completed in 1902, it had reached a height of 344 feet, making it the tallest building in the City of Pittsburgh. It held that honor until 1910, when the Oliver Building rose to 347 feet and claimed the top spot.

First National Bank
The 26-story First National Bank tower, additional floors added to the top of the bank building.

Through a series of mergers and acquisitions, the First National Bank of Pittsburgh evolved first into Pittsburgh National Corporation, in 1959, and PNC Financial Corporation, in 1982. Today, PNC Financial is one of the ten largest banks in the United States. The corporation is still based here in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

First National Bank - One PNC Plaza
The present-day One PNC Plaza tower.

The First National Bank Building remained the headquarters of Pittsburgh National Bank until 1970, when the building was completely demolished. In it's place rose the 30-story One PNC Plaza building, still located at Fifth Avenue and Wood Street, which opened in 1972.

First National Bank $5 Note

<Historical Facts> <> <Brookline History>